Shashi tharoor, Amrita Tripathi, Imtiaz Ali, Barkha Dutt to attend 8th Mountain Echoes Lit Fest

Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, Bhutan’s annual literary, arts and cultural festival, today announced the second set of speakers participating in this year’s edition.


The line-up of authors unveiled today includes names from Bhutan, India and around the world, such as celebrated Bhutanese poet Ashi Sonam Choden Dorji; art restorer and author of books such as The Lotus Light Palace of Guru Rinpoche: Visions of the Buddhist Paradise in the Sacred Kingdom of Bhutan, Ashi Kesang Choden T; politician and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winner Dr. Shashi Tharoor; author of The Golden Legend and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Nadeem Aslam; senior ecologist with the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, recognized as a biodiversity ‘Hotspot Hero’ by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and author of Wild Lilies and Poppies of Bhutan, Wild Rhododendrons of Bhutan and Threatened Birds in Bhutan Rebecca Pradhan; author and environmentalist Pradip Krishen;biochemist and author Pranay Lal; Phuntsho Namgyel, the first director of Bhutan’s Election Commission & author of the acclaimed book Forest for Gross National Happiness; Palden Tshering, former journalist & founder of Bhutan’s first literacy consultancy; K Anis Ahmed, co-founder of the literary journal Bengal Lights and author of the best-selling novels The World in My Hands and Good Night, Mr. Kissinger; acclaimed Indian film director and writer Imtiaz Ali; contemporary fiction writerAmrita Tripathi and eminent journalist and Emmy nominated author Barkha Dutt.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Eastern Himalayas, the intimate and genteel gathering will see the presence of over40 titans from the world of writing. Other prominent names that will be a part of the festival include: 

  1. Barry Shaffer (Educator, international volunteer and author of the photography book, Echoes of Bhutan)
  2. Chand Bhattarai (artist, illustrator, animation filmmaker, and member of Bhutan’s only contemporary arts center)
  3. Chewang Rinzin (Deputy chamberlain to His Majesty the King of Bhutan, and the director of the Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies)
  4. Dasho Karma W Penjor (Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication, Royal Government of Bhutan)
  5. Dr Chencho Dorji (Founding member of the Disabled Persons Association of Bhutan, Chithuen Phenday Association for Recovering Addicts in Bhutan and the Bhutan Nuns Foundation)
  6. Emma Slade (Founder of the UK charity Opening Your Heart to Bhutan, for specially abled Bhutanese children and author of Set Free)
  7. Karan Thapar (Television commentator and journalist)
  8. Karma Gelay (Architect specializing in the conservation of historic structures, and urban development and management)
  9. Kuenga Wangmo (Archaeologist and advisor to the Centre for Archaeology and Historical Studies at Sherubtse College, the Royal University of Bhutan)
  10. Lopen Samten Wangchuk (Programme leader for Bhutanese Language and Literature at the College of Language and Culture Studies)
  11. Lopen Sangay Thinley (Dance Lecturer at College of Language and Cultural Studies, Royal University of Bhutan)
  12. Lilia Khousnoutdinova (Advocate and advisor on gender issues and an artist and co-author of four books centered on women’s sexuality and reproductive freedom, including the Czech bestseller Ženské příběhy)
  13. Lily Wangchuk (First woman president of a registered political party in Bhutan and author of the book, Facts About Bhutan)
  14. Michael Rutland (First British Honorary Consul in Bhutan and Founder and presently the Chairman of the Bhutan Society of the United Kingdom)
  15. Mohini Gupta (Programme Lead at the Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, a postgraduate programme designed to empower young women professionals. She has been selected as the Charles Wallace India Trust Translator-Writer Fellow at Aberystwyth University, 2017)
  16. Nadeem Aslam (Author of five novels, including The Golden Legend, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)
  17. Nagtsho Dorji (Chief architect and the head of the Division for Conservation of Heritages Sites under Bhutan’s Department of Culture)
  18. Neel Madhav (India’s new-age illusionist who combines magic with mentalism, neurolinguistics programming and criminology)
  19. Pema Abrahams (Founder of Project Denjong, a collection of initiatives focused on facilitating scholarship and encouraging creativity amongst Sikkim’s youth)
  20. Sherub Sherub (researcher at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, Bumthang)
  21. Tandin Wangmo (CEO and executive director of RENEW, a one of a kind organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and children in Bhutan)
  22. Tess Lewis (Advisory editor for The Hudson Review)
  23. Tshering Cigay Dorji (Chief executive officer of Thimphu TechPark, Bhutan’s first IT Park, and Bhutan Innovation & Technology Centre, Bhutan’s first Incubation Centre)
  24. Tsokye Tshomo (actress)
  25. Yeshi Tsheyang Zam (11-year-old of the fiction book Khakey)
  26. Vayu Naidu (Performance storyteller, theatre director and author of The Sari of Surya Vilas)

An initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation, in association with India’s leading literary consultancy, Siyahi, the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival will embrace and explore globally relevant issues such as environmental conservation, natural history, spirituality, and the global evolution of textiles and design traditions, amongst others, thereby bringing together a range of expertise and perspectives on stage throughout the three days.

This year also marks the eighth anniversary of the festival and the programme will celebrate Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices from the heart of the happiest country in the world.

Elaborating on the sessions in the pipeline for this year’s edition, Festival Producer and CEO, Siyahi, Mita Kapur said, “After seven highly successful editions of the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival, we are gearing up for an exhilarating eighth edition. The aim of the free, open festival is to showcase Bhutan and India’s shared historical and traditional narratives and at the same time promote the culture of reading, writing and literature in Bhutan. Each year, we strive to curate programming that presents audiences with interesting insights into the literature, art and culture of Bhutan, India and the world around. With the current line-up of speakers and authors from across the globe, the eighth edition promises to turn the world’s happiest nation into a storytelling platform.”

Presented by the Jaypee Group and powered by the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the distinctive literary, arts and cultural festival will be held from August 25th – 27th, with a special inaugural ceremony on 24th August in Thimphu, the charming capital city of Bhutan.


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